Soros's NGO pulls out of Turkey
Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros's civil society organisation announced the end of its activities in Turkey on Monday, saying "groundless claims and speculation" have made its work impossible, Medya Scope reported.
The Board of Directors of the Open Society Foundation, a $20 billion charity that oversees rights advocacy, media development and other programs in dozens of countries, proposed to terminate all activities within Turkey due to an unfavorable environment. The organisation's Board of Trustees approved the proposal, according to a statement from Open Society, the news outlet said.
Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan denounced the "famous Hungarian Jew Soros", accusing the billionaire philanthropist of supporting the 2013 Gezi protests in order to divide Turkey and linking him to leading Turkish activist Osman Kavala, who has been in prison awaiting trial for more than a year. On Saturday, a column in the pro-government news outlet Yeni Akit said Soros' organisation had poured millions of dollars into civil society groups in Turkey, including for LGBTQ, women's rights, Armenians and more, and called for its closure.
In its statement, Open Society refuted the president's allegations and detailed the unfriendly environment that led to its ending operations in Turkey.